Diana Gipe

More Than Health

I spent most of my 20s trying to fill a void.  A void that sheltered pain from childhood trauma. A void that never went away. I turned to drugs and alcohol in my early 20s only to give up one for the other. I used alcohol to numb my pain; I drank to fill the void with temporary happiness. But I decided that alcohol and I had to part ways. I had tried everything to avoid facing the reality of that void and the pain it held, but there was no way around it, I had to face that pain if I wanted to get clean!  

The day I turned and walked away from substance abuse was the day that I was no longer in bondage to the pain that held me captive for so long. The day I met my Jesus, face-to-face, is the day that He showed me His power! I no longer spend my time looking back at who I was. I spend my days celebrating the new creation He has made in me.

Jesus is the reason for my JOY!

Jesus is the reason I know LOVE and LOVE knows me!!!

March 19, 2019 will mark my seventh year sober.

I am sharing a piece of me with you because I know that there is POWER in this story. I am sharing my story with you so that you know, if you are struggling, there is a solution to your pain.  I am sharing this message because life is too short, and I have a story to tell — and you may too.

My journey to sobriety wasn’t an easy one. It was a choice I had to make because my other options would lead me to death. I had to put one foot in front of the other, and lean on my faith. I had to keep my eyes on Jesus. In order to be sober-minded, I had to live a sober life. There was no way around that.

Getting sober was about more than finally being able to put the bottle down. It was an outpouring of grace from my Creator. With clear eyes, I met my husband and we were able to have beautiful daughters. Because of the sober lifestyle I chose and the tools I learned through that process, I have also experienced abundant health post-pregnancy. Both pregnancies resulted in me gaining 100 pounds, which was something I was determined to fix.

I knew choosing to make a healthy transformation on the outside would have an affect on my internal well-being as well. It was a choice I made to prove to myself that losing weight was about more than just getting healthy. It was about choosing to love and care for myself and my family. I lost 96 pounds after my first daughter was born; it was a one-year journey. Much like sobriety, losing weight was all about the choice to give back to myself daily.

It wasn’t easy for my 5 foot tall self to lose almost 100 pounds! But I now have the tools, the determination, the self-control, and the heart to be the best version of myself, and that has always been my goal. So often, what is on the inside produces what is on the outside. I want to be an example to myself, to my daughters, and to others as well. I am currently seven months post-second baby and am down 65 pounds; I want to be another transformation story — I already am!

The value that I hold closest to me when I think about healthy living is self-control. Self-control is mindfulness — it is knowing that I can’t pour from an empty and unhealthy “vessel.” If I want to be the best wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend, then I need to be the best ME!

What motivated me to stay consistent was keeping my end goal in mind. Because I am sober, I have learned the tools of living healthy inside-and-out. That has helped me create a healthy mind, body, and soul! When you stay consistent, you produce long lasting results that stick in the long term. That doesn’t mean looking at tomorrow all the time, and wondering why you can’t get there fast enough. It means waking up and choosing to say, “Today and today only I am going to give what I can, the best I can, and not beat myself up.” Getting healthy starts with loving yourself!

If you want to stay healthy when life gets busy, I would encourage you to write down your goals. Give yourself measurable, attainable milestones and start small. Most importantly have regular “gut” checks with yourself. What is important to you and your health? How can you grow spiritually, mentally, and physically as a result of prioritizing good health? The physical aspects of good health will naturally flow into place when your spiritual, mental, and emotional health are aligned. It starts with what is in your mind and that is the most powerful tool!

The way that I connect with other women is from a place of empathy. Walking in their shoes, finding out what is important to them, and committing to meet them in that place. We are all so different. We all need grace, forgiveness, empathy, and community. We all need each other. There is nothing sweeter to me than the love we can pour into each other, helping each other truly grow in our own walks, “linking arms” with our sisters! There is nothing better.

I speak from a place where can say, “I have been there.” I have felt what you have felt and I am here for you! I have walked the walk NOT just talked the talk and my second chance at life is here to prove it.


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